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Last updated: 28/08/12
I bought a Raspberry Pi.
Partly to have a look at it and get to grips with it.
And partly to use to further my research.
I have a new research project (also documented on the forums) and I hope that the two will feed into one another.
Yamaha OPL project
I've started a research project to investigate the behaviour of the Yamaha OPL3 chipset.
rather than documenting this through a blog, I thought I would use my forum
Hosting new site
I'm hosting a site for my colleague Alastair. He is part of a small crew sailing right around the UK mainland over the next 5 weeks.
You can check on their progress here
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Last updated: 15/09/15
If..Then..Else mapping in BizTalk
Starting some serious development in Microsoft BizTalk 2013 and I was looking for a way to streamline some of our maps. One common place where we have clutter is in the if..then..else design pattern. Typically you want to map one element if something is true, and if it's not true, you want to map something else instead.
BizTalk doesn't provide functoids that do that neatly, and over the years several people have commented on this; it's a problem that goes right back to at least BizTalk 2006.
In this post I'm going to show you the custom functoids that I created to try to streamline my maps.
I've just had to help a friend with here broadband email service. It was working on Monday, but at some point during the week it stopped.
It was complaining that it couldn't get a response from the POP3 server. So I double checked all the documentation and rechecked the password. No good.
I had a look through her existing emails and discovered that she'd been sent details of a new email service that she was being moved onto. So I checked through the settings for that.
There were quite a few settings changes and I thought that would sort it, but no.
So then I went to the ISPs extremely slow, and badly organised AJAX enabled website, where eventually I managed to get the help pages to open for me. There I double checked all the settings, still OK and then looked for more help.
"Perhaps your password has become desynchronised in the move to the new service. Go to this page and change your password." It suggested.
I eventually had to find a different computer to get through the website without the AJAX choking and then I changed the password.
It still wasn't working.
I logged into the provider's site again, to be sure the password was right.
I logged into the provider's webmail service, which I discover is now a GMail solution.
There I find, in my friend's inbox, sent after the changeover, a new, and subtly different set of instructions on what to do to get POP3 working. Now you have to log into the webmail service and ENABLE POP3 apparently.
IF you move someone to a new email service.
AND some changes are necessary for them to continue to use it as before
sending them instructions AFTER the changeover is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!
I made some fishcakes yesterday, very easy and extremely tasty.
This should make 4 fishcakes. Enough for 2 people as a main meal with a salad or a handful of chips.
Boil some potatoes, around 250g, until tender. I used new potatoes and then peeled them, but you can use any floury potatoes and peel them first if they have thicker skins. While they were boiling, I was able to steam 180g of fish fillet above the boiling water. You can use any firm fish, cod, haddock or salmon for example. I went for coley because I had some in. It's a little darker in colour than cod, but with a similar flavour, a little less delicate.
Take 2 handfuls of fresh parsley and blend with 15g of cold butter. Then mix with the hot potatoes and mash them with a fork until smooth. Flake the steamed fish into the mash, add two handfuls of fine breadcrumbs and combine thoroughly.
Form the mixture into patties and then chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. They will become a good deal less sticky as the breadcrumbs absorb some of the moisture, and the cooling potato congeals.
When you are ready to cook the fishcakes, beat an egg into a shallow bowl, dip the patties into the egg, coating both sides, and then cover them with a mixture of breadcrumbs and polenta grains. Shallow fry for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown and the coating has become crispy.
There's not enough english language crime fiction featuring French detectives.
The French have a different approach to crime, their entire legal system operates in a way quite different to our own, and though you might not expect it, the difference shows through in the way that crimes are investigated. To be completely honest, Maigret by Georges Simenon is most likely the only French crime fiction that most people are aware of.
Louise Penny's work is set in Quebec a perfect excuse to reveal the Sureté in action within a english speaking world. And it's refreshing to see. Of course Quebec is bilingual but the French that creeps into the work is neither intrusive nor difficult and lends a authentic sound to the proceedings.
Her debut novel, 'Still Life' is extremely well executed. It has a confidence about it that belies the fact that it has a so far shallow background. Many debut's - especially those that introduce us to characters who will re-occur - are noticeably tentative when compared to the works that come later, but with this novel, you could be forgiven for going back to the bookshop to look for earlier works featuring the redoubtable Inspector Gamache.
Penny has created an entire microcosmos here, in one fell swoop. Not just the brilliant and caring Armand Gamache, but a beautiful setting - the village of Three Pines - filled with well fleshed out characters and in an audacious stroke, the monstrous Yvette Nichol.
The follow-up to 'Still Life' is 'Dead Cold' and brings Gamache back to the same village of Three Pines, little more than 1 year after the events of the first novel. Here Penny shows that she can keep up the pace, her richly drawn story brings out ever more detail in the characters and location. This book is everything that the first was, yet slightly more-so.
Three Pines is a glorious setting for a fresh approach to the village murder mystery, and I look forward to the third in the series, 'The Cruellest Month' when it hits the shelves this autumn.
This weekend I cooked what's probably the most complex dessert I've ever attempted.
I got a copy of James Martin's Desserts for my birthday and it's a sweet looking book.
On Thursday, a friend brought round 3 boxes of blackberries, a bottle of Creme de Cassis, some double cream and a jar of glucose syrup - along with a birthday present of a cake ring. A not exactly subtle hint that she would like me to make the Delice au Cassis recipe.
Well it's not really the right time of year for fresh blackcurrants, so the blackberries had to do instead and I didn't need to alter the recipe to make it work. I suspect that the blackcurrants would have given a greater intensity of flavour to the finished pud, but it worked a treat.
Sometimes a complicated recipe has just too much going on for you to get to grips with it first time. This took me a large part of one day to complete, but despite the marathon it worked flawlessly. This is really the sign I think of a good cookery book. My first recipe from the book, the most complex recipe in the book, and it just works.
This was the first time I've used a sugar thermometer, real vanilla, leaf gelatine, stock syrup or Italian meringue and yet the step by step instructions did the job.
This is a really good book to drool over, it's proper food pr0n. But it's also a very practical and workable recipe book.
Try it. And when you've got a day to spare, try the Delice.